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Philosophy as a Way of Life: History, Dimensions, Directions // Matthew Sharpe, Michael Ure

Philosophy as a Way of Life: History, Dimensions, Directions // Matthew Sharpe, Michael Ure

2021, Bloomsbury, 424 pages

SERIES: Re-inventing Philosophy as a Way of Life

#philosophy #philosohyasawayoflife

In this first-ever introduction to philosophy as a way of life in the Western tradition, Matthew Sharpe and Michael Ure take us through the history of the idea from Socrates and Plato, via the medievals, Renaissance and Enlightenment thinkers, to Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Foucault and Hadot. They examine the kinds of practical exercises each thinker recommended to transform their philosophy into manners of living.

Philosophy as a Way of Life also examines the recent resurgence of thinking about philosophy as a practical, lived reality and why this ancient tradition still has so much relevance and power in the contemporary world.

"Not just arguments but a call to a way of life – this is the vision of philosophy that is traced in this book, from Socrates to Nietzsche and Foucault. Inspired by the work of Pierre and Ilsetraut Hadot, the authors offer for the first time an alternative history that gives philosophy's transformative promise its due."

David Konstan

"Sharpe and Ure have written a fantastic book and have made an important contribution to PWL as a sub-discipline. They acknowledge their debt to Hadot whilst building upon his work with their own scholarship in an outstanding way. The book works well for both the specialist and as an introduction for the beginner. It encourages a radical and welcome rethinking of what philosophy actually is and allows us to see it in a new and exciting way, not just as something to be studied, but as something to be lived."

Philosophy in Review

"I highly recommend this book. It offers an extraordinarily rich and insightful dive into what it means for philosophy to be a way of life--not simply an object of abstract study. Along the way, it showcases not only many giants of philosophy, but also neglected and underappreciated figures and traditions, all with skill, subtle attention to detail, and clarity. A very impressive and important work."

Stephen Grimm

"Sharpe and Ure have undertaken a hugely ambitious task and they have completed it admirably. They have produced a rich and fascinating study of both the concept and the history of philosophy understood as a way of life. It must surely become a standard point of reference in any future discussions of this topic but it also deserves to be widely read by anyone interested in the history of philosophy and in the very concept of philosophy itself."

John Sellars


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